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Dozens of pro-democracy activists charged in Hong Kong

Dozens of pro-democracy activists charged in Hong Kong
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Authorities reportedly charged 47 pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong on Sunday in the largest opposition crackdown under Chinese national security laws.

According to Reuters, the demonstrators were charged with conspiracy to commit subversion. They are accused of taking part in an unofficial primary election last summer that sought to find the strongest candidates for a legislative council election, the news service noted.

Sam Cheung, a Hong Kong activist, reported to a local police station on Sunday, Reuters reported, adding that he was arrested on Jan. 6 along with 54 other pro-democracy campaigners.

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“Hong Kongers have a really tough time these days,” Cheung told reporters before reporting to the police station. “I hope everyone won’t give up on Hong Kong ... (and) fight on.”

According to Hong Kong police, the arrested individuals will appear in court on Monday.

“The nature of these charges makes clear that legitimate political pluralism will no longer be tolerated in Hong Kong,” the European Union Office in Hong Kong said in a statement, calling for the immediate release of those arrested.

The international community has condemned Beijing's treatment of Hong Kong citizens, among other reported human rights violations, with Chinese officials shooting down the criticisms as "groundless charges."